The items pictured in my last post are carding combs. They were used to make quilt batt with. You put a handfull of cotton (seeds removed by hand) on one and comb them together pulling the strands apart as you do. I know not a very good description but I've only ever done it once. I went into the field across from the house, picked me a little bag of cotton, picked out the seeds (a MAJOR pain in the behind), then carded enough to batt a small wallhanging I made with a block I found in my Grandmother's stash after she died. Mama said she could remember her grandmother making a quilt with that pattern when Mama was a teenager. I'm sorry to say when I moved here from MS I seem to have lost it because it didn't make it here with me. And I've searched when I went back to visit and couldn't find it in my house there either. :-(
I also suspect from the comments I received on the other post that they are also used to separate the cotton (or wool) strands in preparation for spinning the cotton into thread. Those of you who've done spinning, am I correct?
So at some time in my past I've watched cotton planted, grown, picked and ginned (my Grandfather managed the cotton gin.) And I've made my own quilt batt (small!) from raw cotton. I've never taken a stab at spinning or weaving or dyeing cloth. Maybe sometime before I die I'll do those so I can say I've participated in some way in the production of a quilt from seed to binding.